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Company man was working for when killed in trench collapse has previous safety fines

Rescue effort has turned into a recovery effort after a person became trapped in a trench collapse in Warren County (WKRC)

MORROW, Ohio (WKRC) - The company a 25-year-old Mason man was working for when a trench collapsed and killed him Thursday morning has two previous safety violations.

According to the United States Department of Labor, JK Excavating had been fined $5,850 in 2014 for two violations involving a trench.

Zachary Hess of Mason, Ohio was working for JK Excavating at a construction site on Anne Marie Drive in Morrow around noon on Thursday when a 25-foot trench collapsed on him.

A co-worker attempted to help Hess, but was unable and went for help.

Hopes of pulling Hess out alive quickly vanished.

When rescuers first arrived on the scene, they could still see Hess in the trench, but in a matter of minutes, the walls quickly collapsed, burying Hess some 25 feet down in the trench. Some 150 rescuers from around the Tri-State responded to the scene, including crews from the Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue Team.

His body was recovered on Thursday night by urban search and rescue teams.

OSHA investigators are currently interviewing witnesses which include co-workers of Hess. With the investigation just beginning, federal investigators say they have six months to complete it.

Warren County Sheriff's officials said Hess was working to connect a sewage pipe to a home under construction.

Hess took video of the trench and published it on Snapchat moments before the collapse.


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